PETALING JAYA: Gavin Kyle Green hopes to put the roar back into his game after receiving some encouraging words from world No. 3 golfer Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland during the Dubai Desert Classic two weeks ago.
“I talked to Rory on the putting green and he told me that it is a normal thing when you make the transition from an amateur to a professional. He also told me to just play golf and not to worry too much,” said the 21-year-old Gavin.
So, can McIlroy’s words of wisdom galvanise Gavin’s game when he tees off in the inaugural Maybank Championship Malaysia (MCM) on Thursday?
Hopefully it will.
Gavin has had to deal with a string of disappointments since turning pro last June.
Despite winning his first local professional title at the PGM Tour’s Danau Closed Championship last October, Gavin has struggled to impress in several Asian Tour and European Tour meets he was invited to play in.
The biggest disappointment was perhaps his failure to gain an Asian Tour membership through the Qualifying School in January.
“It was disappointing ... the Q-School is held only once a year,” said Gavin.
“But it did not affect my confidence. I’m still looking forward to this year ... there’s still a lot to play for.
“I can still get invites to tournaments on the Asian Tour and if I do well ... maybe I don’t have to go back to Q-School (by securing enough points to make the top 60 of the Order of Merit). The ADT will be another avenue.
“Anyway, my other focus is the (European) Challenge Tour, where I aim to be among the top 15 finishers to qualify for next season’s European Tour.”
Gavin began this season tied for 11th at the ADT Players’ Championship in Singapore.
He then missed the cut at the Singapore Open and was unable to make most of the big playing opportunity in the prestigious Dubai Dessert Classic because of fever.
“It was very unfortunate. I had sore throat and then fever on the eve of the tournament. I was struggling to play,” he said.
But with McIlroy’s words of encouragement still ringing in his ears, Gavin’s hoping that they will give him the boost he needs to get going at the Royal Selangor Golf Club on Thursday.
FIRST ROUND TEE-OFF TIMES
From First Tee
7.40am: David Drysdale (Sco), Niall Turner (Irl), Kenneth De Silva (Mas).
7.50am: Joakim Lagergren (Swe), Keith Horne (Rsa), Arie Irawan Fauzi (Mas).
8am: Morten Orum Madsen (Den), Kalem Richardson (Aus), Angelo Que (Phi).
8.10am: Shiv Kapur (Ind), Alejandro Canizares (Spa), Jeong Jin (Kor).
8.20am: Jason Knutzon (US), Fabrizio Zanotti (Par), Mithun Perera (Sri).
8.30am: Marc Warren (Sco), Hsieh Chi-hsien (Tpe), Siddikur Rahman (Ban).
8.40am: Lucas Bjerregaard (Den), Rahil Gangjee (Ind), Scott Barr (Aus).
8.50am: Anthony Wall (Eng), Tyrrell Hatton (Eng), Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind).
9am: Pelle Edberg (Swe), Pariya Junhasavasdikul (Tha), Khor Kheng Hwai (Mas).
9.10am: Eduardo De La Riva (Spa), Richard Bland (Eng), Chinnarat Phadungsil (Tha).
9.20am: Gregory Havret (Fra), Lionel Weber (Fra), Brett Munson (US).
9.30am: Mikko Korhonen (Fin), Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel), Danthai Boonma (Tha).
9.40am: Ervin Chang (Mas-am), Lu Wei-chih (Tpe), Kemarol Baharin (Mas).
From 10th Tee
7.40am: Robert Rock (Eng), Unho Park (Aus), Paul Peterson (US).
7.50am: Prom Meesawat (Tha), David Horsey (Eng), S.S.P Chawrasia (Ind).
8am: Nathan Holman (Aus), Juvic Pagunsan (Phi), Kim Kyung-tae (Kor).
8.10am: Darren Clarke (Irl), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha), Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng).
8.20am: Martin Kaymer (Ger), Rafa Cabrera-Bello (Spa), Prayad Marksaeng (Tha).
8.30am: Thomas Pieters (Bel), Nicholas Fung (Mas), Thitiphun Chuayprakong (Tha).
8.40am: Andrew Dodt (Aus), Stephen Gallacher (Sco), Song Young-han (Kor).
8.50am: Alvaro Quiros (Spa), Thorbjorn Olesen (Den), Steve Lewton (Eng).
9am: Rikard Karlberg (Swe), Kristoffer Broberg (Swe), Arjut Atwal (Ind).
9.10am: James Morrison (Eng), Ben Leong (Mas), Richard T. Lee (Can).
9.20am: Joost Luiten (Ned), Lin Wen-tang (Tpe), Chapchai Nirat (Tha).
9.30am: Michael Tran (Vie), R. Nachimuthu (Mas), Anthony Kang (US).
9.40am: Low Khai Jei (Mas), Lee Chieh-po (Tpe), Mohd Iylia Jamil (Mas).
From First Tee
12.30pm: Michael Hoey (Nir), Chawalit Plaphol (Tha), Gavin Kyle Green (Mas).
12.40pm: Wu Ashun (Chi), Rashid Khan (Ind), Shaun Norris (Rsa).
12.50pm: Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa), Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha), Danny Chia (Mas).
1pm: Thongchai Jaidee (Tha), Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa), Danny Willett (Eng).
1.10pm: Matteo Manassero (Ita), Chris Wood (Eng), Felipe Aguilar (Chi).
1.20pm: David Lipsky (US), Soren Kjeldsen (Den), Tommy Fleetwood (Eng).
1.30pm: David Howell (Eng), Miguel Tabuena (Phi), Natipong Srithong (Tha).
1.40pm: Pablo Larrazabal (Spa), Mardan Mamat (Sin), Sukree Othman (Mas).
1.50pm: Wang Jeung-hun (Kor), Gary Stal (Fra), Marcel Siem (Ger).
2pm: Sam Brazel (Aus), Jazz Janewattananond (Tha), Mikko Ilonen (Fin).
2.10pm: Alexander Levy (Fra), Oliver Wilson (Eng), Carlos Pigem (Spa).
2.20pm: George Gandranata (Ina), Koh Deng Shan (Sin), Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra).
2.30pm: Wilson Choo (Mas), Zaw Zaw Latt (Mya), Jin Cheng (Chn-am).
From 10th Tee
12.30pm: Chiragh Kumar (Ind), Seve Benson (Eng), Adam Groom (Aus).
12.40pm: Paul McGinley (Irl), Airil Rizman Zahari (Mas), Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind).
12.50pm: Romain Wattel (Fra), Andrew Johnston (Eng), Terry Pilkadaris (Aus).
1pm: Wade Ormsby (Aus), Javier Colomo (Spa), Benjamin Hebert (Fra).
1.10pm: Graeme Storm (Eng), Scott Hend (Aus), Thanyakon Khrongpha (Tha).
1.20pm: Berry Henson (US), Panuphol Pittayarat (Tha), Julien Quesne (Fra).
1.30pm: Peter Uihlein (US), Eddie Pepperell (Eng), Jbe Kruger (Rsa).
1.40pm: Lee Soo-min (Kor), Himmat Rai (Ind), Marcus Fraser (Aus).
1.50pm: Raphael Jacquelin (Fra), Maximilian Kieffer (Ger), Hung Cien-yao (Tpe).
2pm: Adilson Da Silva (Bra), Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn), Gregory Bourdy (Fra).
2.10pm: Jorge Campillo (Spa), Magnus A Carlsson (Swe), Antonio Lascuna (Phi).
2.20pm: Casey O’Toole (US), Edouard Espana (Fra), Jeff Winther (Den).
2.30pm: Shaaban Hussin (Mas), Thriston Lawrence (Rsa), Simon Yates (Sco).